If you know what welsh rarebit is you will probably instantly realize what a good idea a mac and cheese version is—feel free to skip to the recipe below. For those of you uninitiated into it’s glorious presence, listen up. Forget the strange name (British people love naming things all crazy)—welsh rarebit is an ultra savory, gooey cheese sauce made with dark beer and spiked with mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and a little cayenne pepper. It’s super indulgent, but a little more complex and grown up than your standard cheese sauce and is usually served bubbling on top of broiled toast at your favorite cozy pub.
So now that you are with me that this is the greatest sauce ever made, let’s make a macaroni and cheese out if it! I added some pan-fried broccoli to the dish as a nice counterpoint to the richness. It seemed like a good idea because it brought two amazing soups together, broccoli and cheddar, and beer-cheese soup.
This mac and cheese came together quickly, in just about 20 minutes. Quick enough that I made it for my lunch on a workday. It’s the simpler version of mac and cheese where you pour the pasta into the sauce, stir and eat. If you want the more traditional baked version, it will just take a little longer. For the baked variety follow the alternative instructions in the note at the end.
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Welsh Rarebit, the hot, savory, cheesy, beery and a little spicy sauce that is a favorite of late night snackers in Great Britain, makes an appearance in mac and cheese with a little pan-fried broccoli for a counterpoint.
- 2 cups cavatappi or elbow macaroni (approximately 1/2 lb or 1/2 standard box)
- salt for pasta water
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 12 oz dark beer (or sub. 6 oz beer and 6 oz milk)
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 3 cups sharp cheddar grated
- 1 crown broccoli chopped into small pieces
- 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
For a more traditional baked mac and cheese: cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the package suggests. Then pile the mac and cheese into a buttered baking dish and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes before serving.